Anil Chauhan is a retired three-star general of the Indian Army who was appointed as the second Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in September 2022 following the death of Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), in December 2021.
Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan was born on Thursday, 18 May 1961 (age 61 years; as of 2022) in Gwana Village, Pauri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand). After completing his school studies at Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) at Fort Williams, Kolkata, Anil Chauhan cleared the UPSC examination to join the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1977. After undergoing three years of training at NDA, Anil Chauhan joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in 1980, where he completed his training in 1981 and got commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles (11 GR).
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
A photo of Anil Chauhan with the Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar
Anil Chauhan belongs to a Garhwali Rajput family from Uttarakhand.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Surendra Singh Chauhan, is a retired Indian Army personnel.
A photo of Anil Chauhan’s father during an interview
He has two siblings.
Wife & Children
His wife, Anupama Chauhan, is an artist.
A photo of Anil Chauhan with his wife Anupama Chauhan
He has a daughter named Pragya Chauhan.
A photo of Anil Chauhan with his daughter Pragya Chauhan
Anil Chauhan’s career as an officer in the Indian Army began when he got commissioned as a second lieutenant into the 11 Gorkha Rifles on 13 June 1981. Soon after commissioning, Anil Chauhan attended the Young Officers (YO) course and the commando course in Belgaum, Karnataka. On 13 June 1983, Anil Chauhan was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. On 13 June 1986, he became a captain, and on 13 June 1992, Anil Chauhan became a major after which he was made a company commander in his battalion. On 16 December 2004, Anil Chauhan got promoted and became a lieutenant colonel. As a lieutenant colonel, he served as a second in command of his battalion in the 11 Gorkha Rifles. On 1 October 2005, Anil Chauhan was promoted and made a colonel after which he commanded a battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles. On 1 June 2009, Anil Chauhan became a brigadier following which he was appointed as the commandant of the 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Center in Lucknow. After completing his tenure as a commandant of the Gorkha Regimental Center, he was posted to the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV), where he looked after the welfare of the retired soldiers of the Indian Army. On 1 January 2014, Anil Chauhan was promoted and made a major general after which he was posted to the Indian Army’s 15 Corps, which is also known as Chinar Corps, in Kashmir. There, he served as the chief of staff till 2015. After his tenure as chief of staff, Anil Chauhan was posted to the 19 Infantry Division as its General Officer Commanding (GOC) at Baramulla, Kashmir. On 1 July 2016, Anil Chauhan was promoted from the rank of major general to the rank of lieutenant general.
A photo of Anil Chauhan after becoming a lieutenant general
From 2017 to 2018, Anil Chauhan served as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nagaland-based 3 Corps, which came under the aegis of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command.
A photo of Anil Chauhan handing over the charge of 3 Corps to Lt Gen Gopal R
In 2018, Anil Chauhan was appointed as the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). According to several sources, Anil Chauhan played a crucial role in the planning of the 2019 Balakot airstrikes that were conducted by the Indian Air Force. In the same year, as a DGMO, Anil Chauhan oversaw the planning and execution of Operation Sunrise, which was a joint military operation between the Indian Army and the Myanmar Army against the Naga rebels in Myanmar. He served as the DGMO till 2019 after which Anil Chauhan took over the command of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army, where he served as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) till his retirement in May 2021.
Anil Chauhan during his tenure as the GOC of the Eastern Command
In May 2021, after Anil Chauhan retired from the Indian Army as a lieutenant general, he was appointed as a military advisor by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), where he worked with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval till September 2022.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)
The post of the CDS was created by the Narendra Modi-led Indian government in 2019 after which the government appointed General Bipin Rawat, the former chief of the Indian Army, as India’s first CDS in 2020; however, after the death of Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in December 2021, the post of the CDS remained vacant for approximately ten months. On 28 September 2022, the Indian government announced that Lt Gen Anil Chauhan would become the second CDS of India, and his tenure as the CDS of the country would begin on 30 September 2022. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), he will not only serve as the CDS but also as the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA). The MoD, in its official statement, stated,
The Government has decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs (DMA) with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders are issued by the Government of India.”
- Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan was awarded a Sena Medal (SM) by the Indian government.
- Lt Gen Anil Chauhan was awarded the Videsh Seva Medal by the Government of India.
- The Government of India presented Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan with a High Altitude Service Medal.
- The Government of India awarded the Sainya Seva Medal to Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan.
- Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan was awarded the Special Service Medal by the Government of India.
- The Government of India awarded Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan with the Samanya Seva Medal.
- The Government of India awarded Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan with the Vishisht Seva Medal.
- The Indian government awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal to Lt Gen Anil Chauhan.
- In 2018, the Government of India awarded Uttam Yudh Seva Medal to Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan.
- In 2020, the Government of India awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal to Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan.
Anil Chauhan receiving the Param Vishisht Sena Medal (PVSM) from the former President of India Ram Nath Kovind
As of September 2022, Anil Chauhan’s salary as the CDS of India is Rs. 2,50,000 + other allowances.
- In 2010, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan authored a book titled Aftermath of a Nuclear Attack: A Case Study on Post-strike Operations.
- In September 2022, after he was appointed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt Gen Anil Chauhan became the first officer of the Indian Army to have been given a high-ranking military appointment and a promotion after retirement.
- Lt Gen Anil Chauhan has also served as a military observer in Angola under the United Nations (UN) charter.
- According to several sources, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan is also known as a “China expert” and is one of the reasons behind his selection as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).